Scots Must Update Status Before Travelling Abroad
Scotland and the rest of the UK have been formally adopted into the European Union’s Digital Covid Certificate (EU DCC) scheme, the European Commission has confirmed.
All Covid status certificates will be recognised across Europe on Monday November 1st, as the UK joins the EU scheme which provides the means for QR codes to be scanned and verified as being officially issued.
The change will open up ease of access for travellers to more than 40 countries covered by the certification scheme. It covers travel to Europe and those countries which, like the UK, are affiliated with the EU DCC.
It will also enable better access to facilities like bars and other venues where this is required in those countries which have chosen to use the EU DCC domestically.
Users of the NHS Covid Status app will have their vaccination status automatically updated when they login. Scots travelling to the EU and countries covered by the scheme who have downloaded a PDF version with QR codes on their mobile device, or anyone who has a printed letter with their Covid status dated before October 7th will need to either download the app or request a new letter.
While Brexit regrettably meant that we were not part of the EU scheme to start with, this is a positive development that I know will be welcomed by Angus residents travelling abroad.
Of course, I would continue to encourage all constituents get vaccinated if they have still not done so, and urge those who have done to take up the offer of any booster as we head into what will be a hugely challenging winter for our health service.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf:
Vaccine certification will have a key role to play in helping keep the virus under control as we continue to emerge safely from lockdown restrictions and international travel opens up.
Due to Brexit we were unfortunately not automatically part of the EU scheme. Adopting it will provide a more comprehensive approach instead of the previous bilateral agreements we had with individual countries and should provide more ease of access for travellers.
Our vaccine certification app is working well and anyone planning to travel can download their Covid status QR codes again following the ‘go live’ date of the scheme from Monday November 1st. If you have a letter, you can request another one when you need one for international travel purposes.
I would urge anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to do so through NHS Inform Scotland or by dropping into a local vaccine centre.
The change coming into effect on November 1st means Covid Certificates issued in the UK are treated as equivalent to the EU DCC. The UK is now an official ‘third party’ member of the EU DCC, becoming the 18th third party country to join.
As part of this, all EU DCC member countries will have their full certificates recognised and verifiable in Scotland.